Recap – Wallace Brooks Field Trip

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I woke up early on Saturday, December 2, for a walk around Wallace Brooks Park.  It was cloudy and humid for a December morning.  As I looked toward the sky, I wondered how the day’s birding trip would turn out since birding might be slow if the sun didn’t appear. 

We decided to head on a new route by going to the boardwalk at Cooter Pond first, instead of going to Wallace Brooks Park.  This turned out to be a good choice because the first of many Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were seen flitting around. 

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Soon a Swamp Sparrow showed up. ​​Next we were treated by a cooperative Wilson’s Snipe right off the boardwalk.

We saw many Coots and Common Gallinules on the pond.  Someone spotted two ducks in the distance that turned out to be male and female Lesser Scaup.  Both cooperated at a close distance, which was a great teaching moment for all.

Continuing our walk around Cooter Pond, we found Palm Warblers, White-eyed Vireos, Gray Catbirds, and a very cooperative Belted Kingfisher that put on an aerial display of its fishing technique. 

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While finishing a nice lollygagging walk on the Withlacoochee State Trail back toward Wallace Brooks Park, we were treated to my first-of-season American Goldfinch, B & W Warblers, and then a Red-shoulder Hawk.

​We eight birding friends ended our walk at Liberty Park where the Saturday Farmer’s Market was going on. 

All totaled the day turned out to be a great field trip.  We totaled 33 species, and it was a good day for all. 

Text by Ken Spilios with photos by Bob Ross